FR: Overwrite clips (pseudo linked/alias clips)

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live

Do you want linked/alias clips?

Yes
21
84%
No
0
No votes
Not bothered (might use if available)
4
16%
Don't know
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 25

Scoox
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:23 pm

I've been thinking about this and I think it could be further reduced to just two simple and very intuitive commands, which ideally would be bound to keyboard shortcuts for a more efficient workflow:
  • Select all clips with same name (Shift+Ctrl+A): Selects all clips with the same name as the currently selected clip. Works for single and multiple clip selections e.g. if "Clip1" and "Clip2" are selected, this command would select all clips named "Clip1" and "Clip2".
  • Paste (replace) (Shift+Ctrl+V): NEW!!

The interesting thing here is the 'Paste (replace)' function. Here's how it works:
  1. Copy a single clip the usual way, that is, Ctrl+C or context menu 'Copy'.
  2. Select any number of clips in either Session View or Arrange view.
  3. Right-click on one of the selected clips to bring up the selection's context menu.
  4. Select 'Paste (replace)' from the clip context menu, or press Shift+Ctrl+V.*
Bam!—all selected target clips have now been replaced with the copied source clip from step (1). I think this is intuitive because Live already supports multiple item renaming & coloring. What do you guys think?

*Note: this menu item is only available if a single clip was copied at step 1. If multiple clips were copied, or the copied item(s) are non-clips (e.g. MIDI notes, automation, etc), the 'Paste (replace)' command is grayed out in the context menu and Shift+Ctrl+V would be ignored.
Last edited by Scoox on Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jonljacobi
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:13 pm

Way more Ableton-like. If Live simply set flags or link lists for clips that were pasted and if they were subsequently altered, you could conceivably reduce this to one command, Update Duplicates. Anything altered would be left alone.

Scoox
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:53 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:13 pm
Way more Ableton-like. If Live simply set flags or link lists for clips that were pasted and if they were subsequently altered, you could conceivably reduce this to one command, Update Duplicates. Anything altered would be left alone.
You kinda lost me there. Setting flags and keeping link lists is far more complex than what I proposed in my last post, which is actually very simple because all Ableton needs to do is select a bunch of clips that share a common name. In fact, this is what users do MANUALLY when they need to update a bunch of clips (find, delete, paste). The idea is to combine this into a single-click action (a macro, to use Excel parlance). This really gives users full control because users can at any time rename a clip.

There's this other thread where user JustinCG suggested a feature to search for, and subsequently select, clips by name, both in Arrange View and Session View. This FR and the one we are discussing on this thread could easily be merged, or at least share some of the code since both features do very similar things.

jonljacobi
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:17 am

I was actually saying your suggestion was Ableton-like. A compliment. No preference as I've never had a project that had remotely enough copies of a clip for it to matter.

Flags are simply a true/not true for a property (linked/not linked, copied/original), and link lists are simply lists of objects that share the same properties. A list of clips sharing the same property can be addressed much faster than searching a list of names. Programming stuff.

Scoox
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:31 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:17 am
I was actually saying your suggestion was Ableton-like. A compliment. No preference as I've never had a project that had remotely enough copies of a clip for it to matter.

Flags are simply a true/not true for a property (linked/not linked, copied/original), and link lists are simply lists of objects that share the same properties. A list of clips sharing the same property can be addressed much faster than searching a list of names. Programming stuff.
Cool I understand now. How they do it internally is up to them but I'm pretty sure they'll come up with a computationally efficient solution like what you suggest.
Last edited by Scoox on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jonljacobi
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:53 pm

LOL. I'm sure they'll come up with something better. ;-)

Allured
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:01 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Allured » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:29 pm

Hi Scoox,

your suggestions make sense to me and I agree that they can be very useful.

My personal interest is if this can be done with midi remote scripts:

1.) The specification of the "source clip" seems doable with midi remote scripts. For example, just select a clip and then press a midi button which has a function assigned to internally store this clip.

2.) W.r.t. your paste/replace step, this seems unfortunately not doable with midi remote scripts. If you check the documentation under "https://docs.cycling74.com/max8/vignett ... ject_model", the information about what is selected would be "song.view.highlighted_clip_slot" which is of type "ClipSlot". I interpret this that it only provides one entry. But in your suggestion, it would need to be multiple selections.

In case you want to assign e.g. a groove to all clips and if you considering using my midi remote script for this, you would need to assign the groove to the first clip and have the clips linked by name so that pressing the button copies the first clip (with the updated groove) to all other clips with the same name. And it would copy everthing else with it, color, midi notes, clip automation etc. Not sure if this would be helpful for your use case.

Scoox
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:24 pm

Allured wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:29 pm
My personal interest is if this can be done with midi remote scripts
While the MIDI scripts can work well, I see them as a temporary solution. I'm really hoping Ableton codes all this into the software so it works out-of-the-box.

I think I should update the first post of this thread because my initial idea of alias clips has "evolved" especially after reading your reply and seeing your scripts. I think using the regular Copy command to also make a clip the source would be both neat and effective. The key thing is that all this could be accessed from the typing keyboard.

jonljacobi
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:50 am

How about if they’re linked by default, but editing any non-original breaks the link? Completely transparent.

Scoox
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:32 am

jonljacobi wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:50 am
How about if they’re linked by default, but editing any non-original breaks the link? Completely transparent.
Unless I'm missing something, I don't think that would work well because then you would have to visually scan the entire project looking for the "origina"l clip (which would probably have a small indicator on it to make it stand out from the "non-original" clips).

IMO the paste-replace solution is probably the most flexible and easiest to implement, and the one who's least likely to annoy users who prefers the traditional non-alias workflow.

I've used FL for many years and it never occurred to me that there could be something better than its implementation of alias clips... until I read Allured's reply. To be honest, alias clips by default in FL is a PITA to work with, because every time you need to remember to "make unique" a clip before you edit it, otherwise the whole project is affected. Of course, alias clips by default is better than no alias clips at all, so having to "make unique" all the time is something I was willing to tolerate. But if Ableton implements something like paste-replace, I'm pretty much sold.

In electronic music genres there are elements that repeat throughout the track, with evolving variation imparted using track-based (as opposed to clip-based) automation. There is also what I call "unexpected variation" or "surprises" which is basically anything that's unique. I have this theory that no two points in a track should be equal. FL makes this theory harder to put into practice because it by default encourages the reuse of existing clips. Ableton Live, on the other, makes repetition easy to begin with (you can duplicate items) but it makes repeating items extremely difficult to manage once inserted because it doesn't provide any tools to select and replace similar items. These are tools that, by the way, most basic text editors provide (search & replace).

People from an engineering/programming background are more likely to see the value in what's being requested here; the rest will probably think this is pointless—the same people whose idea of a version control solution is a folder on their desktop named "New sh*t (2)".

jonljacobi
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:17 pm

I was thinking linear, when the original would always be the first instance. But I suppose it could be an issue in more complex or non-linear projects.

elfstone
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:45 am

Re: FR: Overwrite clips (pseudo linked/alias clips)

Post by elfstone » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:12 pm

Alias clips would be so useful, I prefer Ableton over FL Studio in may ways, but the lack of Alias Clips is keeping me from compeltly adopting ableton at this point.

MR182
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:50 pm

Re: FR: Overwrite clips (pseudo linked/alias clips)

Post by MR182 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:12 am

I was really hoping to see this addition in ableton 11 hopefully it comes relatively soon.

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